New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Tuesday refused to have a relook at its order of declining to quash the trial in 1975 murder case of the then Railway Minister L N Mishra.
A bench of justices H L Dattu and C K Prasad dismissed the review petition filed by undertrial accused in the case who pleaded with the apex court to terminate the proceedings on the ground that the trial has not been concluded in the past 37 years and is still going on.
"We have gone through the review petitions and the connected papers. We see no reason to interfere with the order impugned. The petitions are, accordingly, dismissed," the bench said.
The apex court had on August 17 refused to quash the trial saying proceedings cannot be terminated merely because they have not been concluded in the past 37 years.
Although the two judges had concurred on the issue of dismissing the petition, they differed in their reasoning.
While Justice Dattu had blamed the accused for dragging the trial, Justice Prasad was sympathetic towards the accused but refused to grant any relief on the ground that the apex court`s two Constitution Bench judgements did not allow passing of an order in favour of the petitioner.
"In the present case, the delay is occasional by exceptional circumstances. It may not be due to failure of the prosecution or by the systemic failure but we can only say that there is a good cause for the failure to complete the trial and in our view, such delay is not violative of the right of the accused for speedy trial," the bench had said.
Mishra was killed in a bomb blast at a function at Samastipur Railway station in Bihar on January 3, 1975.
The chargesheet in the case was filed on November 1, 1977 in a CBI court in Patna. In 1979, the case proceedings were shifted to the national capital after the then Attorney General had made a plea in the apex court.